Sometimes my method of picking books is really calculated. And then sometimes I just see something and think, ‘hmph. I’ll read that, I guess.’ Sharp Objects was chosen via the latter method. Suffice it to say,I think I started this book sometime last week, maybe over the weekend. It’s Tuesday and I just finished it. Literally a few minutes ago… I’ve been buried in it all weekend.
Here’s to hoping I get something done today! I have a couple of writing projects that need to be started or finished: 1. The Epic, it must end. Soon. I have an ending in mind, already. It’s just getting there. 2. My Fanfiction AU. I just think it’s a good story and I want to finish it. It’ll likely be my last “JC” story for the fanfiction archive. 3. My Lifetime movie inspired drama based on some Nanny storyline. I’ve never seen the movie but the premise is the usual ‘nanny falls for the dad, will do anything to have him’. This one is fandom based as well. 4. NaNoWriMo–need to start thinking about it and writing writing writing. My brain is such a fog, sometimes. I don’t have clear imagery in my head, so how can I even put it on paper, let alone convey enough meaning in a well written way that makes people want to read it? Urgh. I fear that so much of what I’ve written is crap and it will be a long time until it isn’t crap. *sigh* We don’t improve without practice, though, right? Right? Someone say yes! Off I go, to practice. I hear it makes perfect. I think that’s a crock.
Wow. I wasted an entire day. I don’t really feel all that bad about it. I caught up on other stuff. I wish I had read some, though. Maybe tomorrow. Time to pug in the Dave Matthews Band and get to typing!
I got up early to write, and saw that Jane over at Dear Author had already been busy this morning on the Twitter (or more likely last night) so I headed over to her site to see what new things lay in store for me. I do enjoy her reviews, specifically on really-bad-but-still-managed-to-get-published pieces. They give me hope. Anyhow, Jane’s latest poll is about grammar, and how good you are at it. I’ll admit I am more of a grammar snob than I should be. I love words, correctly used and phrased and spelled. I love sentences that slide off of the tongue, that are well punctuated. I love dialogue that is natural without being ‘slang-y’ or making the story sound like it came from a diary entry and not a narrative. However, I do realize that I have faults, and I have many of them. I make LOTS of mistakes. Rarely spelling, mostly typos– as in I know how to spell but my fingers don’t know how to type. I depend far too much on google spellcheck and if I don’t know how to spell something, I type it into a google search, and it pops back with ‘did you mean this, you moron?’ Personally, I feel like I rarely make grammar errors– but maybe after taking this quiz, I will pick up an AP stylebook and investigate myself and then take back my words. Anyhow, Jane posted the poll, and it went a little something like this: Are You a Grammar Goddess? Do you recognize the two grammar errors in the following two sentences: Here’s what’s on Google’s home page on May 16, 2009: Over 28,000 children drew doodles for our homepage. Vote for the one that will appear here! Anyone who has read this blog has already figured out that we could use a few grammar lessons. I like to think I know my grammar but am just too busy to review all of my posts to […]
Every story has a plot, and a lot of stories use the same plot template. The difference is in the writer, and what template s/he chooses to use and what fresh ideas they bring to the plot of the story. Today’s lesson was on plot templates, what’s required to have a good, effective plot and a vehicle to move the emotion of your story along: setup, struggle, climax, tension, conflict, sacrifice, purpose-filled action. Whether the story is an action adventure or a love story, these elements are important.
do you type really fast? – Well, I can type really fast. It’s just that it won’t be readable or spelled correctly, is all. did you like high school? – Not at all. how old are you? – 35. That was a shock to me, actually. I guess I had planned to stay 34 another year– MySpace informed me that I had turned 35. favorite pen color – Blue. Or purple. what annoys you more than anything? – Pointless questions. Like, I’m at the store, and I buy something for $4.29 with a $5 bill and the clerk says ” Out of five?” I always want to answer, “No, out of $20.” Or a call to me at 3:34 PM asking, “What are you doing?” What do you THINK I’m doing? if you woke up tomorrow morning as the opposite sex, what would you do first? – Stare at it. Seriously. favorite show on nickelodeon Fairly Odd Parents— any epi with Chip Skylark. I love his Shiny Teeth. And Cosmo. did you watch are you afraid of the dark? – No, because I am afraid of the dark.
My friend Becky is taking it and I was jealous so I was a copycat and signed up as well. It’s not so much a writing course as well-timed material being placed on the internet for reading, with a quiz following immediately after, and an assignment that is optional. At the end of our class, we will have a required assignment, which I assume will be a full fledged piece. And so, Advanced Fiction Writing began last night, but I didn’t actually get the materials till today. Turns out I was waiting for a username and password that wasn’t going to come, so I just logged in. The first class was pretty basic, going over structure, plot, dramatic elements, and the three act structure: I guess it helped to learn what I’ve been doing without knowing what I’m really doing– to put terms and theory and method to my clinking around the keyboard, playing ‘Author’. It’s certainly awakened me to things in stories I’ve written in the past, and even if I write snippets or drabbles, where to place the story vs the plot so that it drives people crazy wanting to hear the end– or the beginning. Interesting and informative first course- of course I took the quiz right after and I got 100%! o/ My assignment for Lesson 1 is to introduce myself, a task I kind of hate. I have a hard time making myself sound interesting. *SIGH*
I bought new books, the other day, based off of….some list I found. May 2009 Great Reads, I think. I’m excited to start reading! Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn From Publisher’s Weekly:
Now, I’ve gone and done it. One of my friends, the gifted and talented Andrea is running a Lifetime movie challenge community called stori_telling (because every GOOD Lifetime Movie stars Tori Spelling!), in which we supplied the plots of our most favoritest, dramatic, ridiculous Lifetime Movies, the plots were compiled and laid out and made available for choosing. What’ll I do with it? I’ll write a story, based on it. OMG.
[source] Joe’s Writing Tips April 2009 Books to Be Influenced By It never ceases to amaze me. I’ll meet someone at an event who says, “I always wanted to be a writer,” and I’ll ask, “What do you like to read?” – and that person will say something like, “I’m really not much of a reader.”Why would anyone want to be a writer who doesn’t like to read? And how does anyone figure out how to write without reading everything they can, first?It’s basic primate behavior: monkey see, monkey do. We learn to speak by imitating adults who speak to us, and we learn to write by imitating what we read. Here’s a secret for first-time novelists, in particular: it’s okay to be derivative. It’s okay to imitate what you think is good. As long as you’re not plagiarizing – as long as you’re using your own words and telling your own story – it’s not only fine, it’s helpful to try to write in the style of authors you admire. We all do it, and it’s one of the most frequently-asked question any author gets: “Who are your influences?” It takes a long time to find one’s own voice, and even then, we’re all products of every other book we’ve ever read, and every person we’ve ever spoken to. It’s not just writing; all artists do this, whatever the medium. Picasso’s early work, for example, borrows heavily from the old masters – and then, when he felt he’d learned as much as he could from them, he used what he learned to create his own unique style. How many times have you heard a band described as “Beatlesque,” or “the new Dylan”? Brian De Palma’s movies started out as faithful homages to Alfred Hitchcock, and Peter Bogdanovich acknowledges the heavy influence of Orson Welles on his early work. It’s tricky, of course. Harold Bloom looked at this phenomenon in The Anxiety of Influence, a book about modern poetry. Bloom […]